laupäev, oktoober 20, 2007

Ode to Estlanders

I was reading Elu24 where model Beatrice and Eduard Korotin (above) argued that the reason people didn't vote for them in last week's "Tantsud Tähtega"(Dancing with the Stars) program was because they aren't Estonians.

This came as a bit of a shock to me because up until that moment, I had always thought that Beatrice was as Estonian as Ester Tuiksoo. She seemed to turn up at so many Kroonika events that I assumed that she was on staff. She at least seemed as Estonian as Stella K. Wadowsky.

I was then informed by others that Beatrice is actually a venelane. She apparently has a slight accent which is hard to detect because she is a model and is usually made available to others visually, not via audio. For example, I saw a photo of Beatrice on a billboard advertising Playboy at the Maxima supermarket today. She didn't say a word.

I don't know how else to say it, and I hate to be rude, but if you are born in Estonia and you speak Estonian, even with an accent, then you're tied to this country. You might have spoken Tagalog at home and be very active in your Filipino youth group, but something sets you apart from the other Filipinos ... you live in Estonia and speak the national language. You are one of the few, the brave, the sinine, must, ja valge.

For example, my friend in college grew up speaking Persian. His mother was from Iran. Except he spoke Persian in New York and had dreadlocks, smoked the ganj, and listened to Bob Marley. That is my friend was a New Yorker, not an Iranian, even if English was spoken in school rather than at home.

The problem with Estonia though is that these interesting mitte-eestlased have no names for themselves. The Ministry of Population Affairs is desperately seeking a term for them that is unique. I offer up Estlanders -- eestimaalased. Some people don't like this term because it is what the Baltic German nobility of the province of Estonia called themselves.

But I think that it is because of this history that it makes the most sense. Estlanders were not so much German -- there were also landowners of Swedish, Danish, Polish, and Russian origin. Instead they were people whose lives were tied to Estonia who were not indigenous to that territory. Estlanders. The name says it all.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Beatrice lost not because she is an eestimaalane, but because she didn't look like she was having a good time. Dag Hartelius and Katrin Karisma both looked like they were ready to suck down a few martinis and dance the night away. And nobody cared that Peep Vain's dancing partner is named Olga Kosmina because they kicked so much ass. But Beatrice looked a bit spooked, and in the end they were eliminated from the competition. The 272 comments on the website seem to agree with this interpretation.

23 kommentaari:

Andres ütles ...

awww.. Dag is so cute (in a non-homosexual way). He's like Winnie the Pooh. And he was so happy when they were told they would continue in the show. Before that he looked like a guy on death row... "OK, let's get it over with, everyone knows I'm going".

Giustino ütles ...

Dag Rules. I want to print up t-shirts saying as much.

Colm ütles ...

Hea mõte sul on! :-)

Indrek ütles ...

In TV3 there was a show called "Töömurdja" and the winner was an estonian russian who had a strong accent.

But for losers it is always more convenient to blame somebody else.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

typical loosers' blabla

Blogaddict ütles ...

There should be a show that would keep it real and be a total opposite of "Tantsud t2htedega." It should be called "Teine eesti tantsib ka" or smth. The MC could be Peeter V6sa and the contestants could be real people from any places from Kopli, to Kose or Kohila wearing their usual outfits and presenting their usual mannerisms.

Punktid would be given for the ability to jump Kaera Jaan in a most sensusous way. Then we'd be talking.

Frank ütles ...

Nice try! Did you know, then, that the Turkish community in Germany is dubbed Deutschländer by their fellow-countrymen back home?
Attaching sentimental value to the vintage use of Estländer (Estlanders) I venture to suggest to add the prefix uus- (...)

Frank ütles ...

... and I have to admit the post does provoke me to pose the question: how do you define indigenousness?

How many generations does it take to become indigenous Estonians?

The share of Estonians that has German, Polish, Swedish ...ish forebears in the male line is considerable (the Great Northern War made it necessary to replenish the stocks) , at the same time especially the oldest Estländer-families (and not too few of the younger ones) are bound to have drops or litres of pur sang estonien running through their veins ...

So I would like to offer Uus-Eestlased (google tells me the term is used, but my Estonian is too poor or natuke to be sure it is used the way you think of) ...

Blogaddict ütles ...

Beatrice on nii kaunis naine, nutma ajab et.

Wahur ütles ...

Frank, uus-eestlased wont work because it sounds very much like uus-venelased, term that in Russia is used for nouveau riche. Especially Russians would take it as direct insult.
As for "how many generations?" question. Ask people who have moved to Hiiumaa :) It does not matter if you are Estonian, Russian or Swahili, no matter who you are, what you do or how many local friends you have, unless your parents have not been born there, you are a "mainlander", end of discussion. I guess people are a bit more relaxed about it in mainland, though.

Frank ütles ...

... ever so grateful, Wahur, for the enlightenment - and compared to other places I guess that makes the indigenous population of Hiiumaa (and of Estonia in general) appear quite benevolent and tolerant with respect to immigrants (as long as they are fluent in the local idiom) - in the Bavarian alps and in some other rural spots in Germany and Austria I fear it would take ages to lose that stigma ...

the expression new russians is also popular in German media

Giustino ütles ...

In the news they are often referred to as 'muulased' -- others. This is pretty dumb. People should be a bit more liberal with the Estonian label. I mean if I introduced a Russian Estonian friend in San Francisco, I'd say he was from Estonia, not from Russia.

Blogaddict ütles ...

G - how would you introduce an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has been living illegaly in US most of his life and barely speaks English? Would you say: "Hey, my compadre Jose here, he's an American just like me".

No discomfort of any kind?

Giustino ütles ...

G - how would you introduce an illegal immigrant from Mexico who has been living illegaly in US most of his life and barely speaks English? Would you say: "Hey, my compadre Jose here, he's an American just like me".

No discomfort of any kind?


Most of the Estonians I know of Russian descent speak Estonian too. Obviously I am shut out of the whole Russophone world because I don't speak Russian.

As for your question, similarly I don't know any guys named Jose who don't speak English. But I would have a hard time arguing that a kid who grew up down the street from me whose last name was Gonzalez was less American than me. I mean our last attorney general was named Gonzalez! Plus I am just another Italian-American -- I am not as 'regular American' as guys named Clinton and Bush.

Wahur ütles ...

I find this dispute about a name quite characteristic to whole last 20 years. That is, Estonians talk and discuss and think, while Russians themselves keep quiet. I would say, if they have no opinion themselves, then it is not important to them and we can go on exactly as we want, provided that 'tibla' is used sparingly and in suitable context.

viimneliivlane ütles ...

You got it! People like Dag and enjoy watching him dance.
Last year they gave Erki Nool more of a chance than perhaps his dancing alone may have merited because they like him.
Once the dancing starts you forget what nationality anyone is - surely you aren't missing the fact that Kristina Ojuland and her Russian partner Aleksandr are dancing up a storm!
Beatrice and Korotin looked hideous on the dance floor, and the viewers responded to that.

Giustino ütles ...

Wahur,

I think there's just a portion of the population that has a bad attitude and no smiling faces will ever be able to reach them -- some of whom broke windows in late April.

I will write more on this later.

Giustino ütles ...

It reminds me of that Björk lyric, "I thought I could organize freedom, how Scandinavian of me."

Perhaps Estonians are the same in this regard. There must be an institutional-organizational response to a social question.

But maybe there is no real solution other than time.

Frank ütles ...

Having just checked who might be Dag Hartelius, I make a very deep bow and congratulate the kingdom of Sweden: what an ambassador ...!

With men like that, the vana hea rootsi aeg concept really makes sense ~

E:r ütles ...

I've been living in Estonia for the last 25,5 years (of my 25,5 years of age) and I was surprised to find out from that Delfi article that Beatrice is not a native Estonian.

Too bad that she was voted out of the show, though.

Triin ütles ...

Eelmise saate võitja Olga Kosmina on venelane ja pealegi räägib ta eesti keelt oluliselt kehvemini. Nii et rahvuses see viga küll ei ole. Ikka publiku maitses.
Pigem nägi Beatrice eriti esimeses saates õnnetu välja ja teises ütles, et talle oli see väga ebameeldiv kogemus. Miks peaks teda toetama, kui ta ei taha seal olla?

Triin ütles ...

Isn't it unpolite to continue in another language than other people are using, expecting that everybody understands anyway (like my previous comment)? It is usual to some russians - to speak russian, because it is a language that the Estonians should know.

well, I said, that former winner of "Tantsud tähtedega" is Olga Kosmina (with a young unknown singer Mikk Saar). She is a russian, who speaks Estonian with mistakes.
So it is not the nationality.
Beatrice seemed and said she did not enjoy it. Why to support her against her own will? (She is beautiful and i would have loved to see her again, but I like Dag as well for different reasons.)

Giustino ütles ...

It is usual to some russians - to speak russian, because it is a language that the Estonians should know.

It's a bit hard to determine what language to use sometimes.